#BestofGT: Luke Schniederjans completed a wire-to-wire victory with an even-par 72, while fellow senior Tyler Strafaci paced Georgia Tech with a final-round, 2-under-par 70 as the No. 3 Yellow Jackets won the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in record fashion last September.
Tech won the Carpet Capital Collegiate for the 10th time in the tournament’s 31-year history, and captured at least a share of the title for the third straight year, this time by a tournament-record 20 strokes over North Florida, Charlotte and East Tennessee State. It also was the Yellow Jackets’ 60th tournament victory in the tenure of head coach Bruce Heppler, who began his 25th season on The Flats this weekend.
Playing without junior Noah Norton for the second straight day (back spasms), meaning Tech was not able to drop its high individual score, the Yellow Jackets posted a 4-over-par round of 292 and finished the tournament as the only team under par for 54 holes.
Schniederjans, a senior from Powder Springs, Ga., demonstrated his comfort on the 7,180-yard layout at The Farm all weekend, cruising to a five-shot victory with a 9-under-par tournament score of 207. He shot 68-67 the first two rounds to build a seven-stroke margin, and his even-par 72 Sunday protected his lead from hard-charging teammate Strafaci, who crept within two shots at one point but finished with a round of 70 and took second place at 4-under-par 212.
Freshman Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.) posted a top-20 finish in his collegiate debut, tying for 18th place after carding an even-par 72 Sunday for a tournament total of 220 (+4). Redshirt sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.) tied for 48th place at 229 (+13), while sophomore Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah), competing as an individual, tied for 31st place at 224 (+8).
The Jackets piled up 55 birdies over three days despite the difficulty of the golf course, five more than Florida, which finished the tournament in 10th place.
Luke Schniederjans waves to the gallery after dropping his final putt at the 18th hole Sunday.
Without the services of senior Andy Ogletree, who helped the United States rally to victory Sunday at the Walker Cup in Hoylake, England, and without Norton for all but the opening round, Georgia Tech still was able to win by a tournament-record margin of 20 strokes, mainly on the strength of its two seniors finishing 1-2 in the medal race. The Jackets completed the tournament at 861 (-3).
North Florida, Charlotte and East Tennessee tied for second place at 881 (+17), with the Buccaneers and the 49ers posting the low rounds of the day (even-par 288) on Sunday. No. 21 Alabama and No. 23 South Carolina tied for fourth place at 883 (+19), with No. 17 Clemson and Colorado State tied for seventh at 885 (+21).
Tennessee (893, +29) and Florida (895, +31) rounded out the top 10.
FOUR CARPET CAPITAL TROPHIES NOW IN THE SCHNIEDERJANS HOME
With Luke Schniederjans’ victory Sunday (207, -9), four Carpet Capital Collegiate championship medalist trophies now reside in the Schniederjans family. Luke also won the title as a freshman, and older brother Ollie captured medalist honors in 2013 and 2014. It was Luke’s third career tournament victory, and first since his freshman year, when he won both the Carpet Capital Collegiate and the Puerto Rico Classic.
Tyler Strafaci (212, -4) logged his eighth career top-10 finish and posted his best result since winning the Valspar Collegiate Championship his freshman year.
Head coach Bruce Heppler following the Yellow Jackets victory.
Luke Schniederjans post-round remarks